Last week Paul received a recipe at The Mountain Mail for a Grilled Cherry Crisp from the Colorado Proud Recipe of the Month for July. Danielle Trotta, submitter of the recipe and press release, said the state celebrates the cherry season this time of year.

Cherries make up the bulk of the fruit harvested on the Western Slope, Trotta wrote. The warm days and cool nights found on the Western Slope are nature’s recipe for perfect cherries. The summer sun heats the mesa and rock formations, radiating warmth onto the trees during the evening, extending the growing hours. Cool mornings bring sweetness to the cherries.

Grilled Cherry Crisp

with Sweet Cream

This recipe for Grilled Cherry Crisp with Sweet Cream was submitted to the state by Chef Jason Morse of 5280 Culinary. I haven’t made this yet, but since cherries are my absolute favorite fruit of all time, my next trip to the store will include the ingredients.

Cherry filling ingredients:

4 cups fresh cherries, pitted and stems removed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ cup white sugar

½ cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1-2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon allspice

Crisp topping ingredients:

1¼ cups rolled oats

½ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 stick of butter, room temperature

Sweet cream ingredients:

1 cup sour cream

½ cup white sugar

½ cup buttermilk, full fat

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Prep:

Start grill and heat to 385 degrees. In a medium-size bowl, mix all the ingredients for the cherry filling. Pour the cherry mixture into a 10½-inch cast iron skillet. When the grill is 385 degrees, place skillet on grill and heat the cherries, stirring occasionally, until thickened and heated through, about 15-20 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and place on a heat-safe surface.

For the crisp topping, mix together the ingredients in a medium-size bowl using both hands to work butter into oats and flour to make a crumble-style topping. Top cherries with crumble and return the skillet to the grill.

Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Remove from grill and let rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk sweet cream ingredients in a medium bowl until fully incorporated. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to use. Scoop crisp into a bowl and serve warm with a generous scoop of sweet cream.  

Steaks with

Fresh Cherry Sauce

I enjoy finding ways to make savory dishes with fruit, and pairing fruit with meat is one of my favorite ways to do this. Steaks with Fresh Cherry Sauce may not be an obvious choice, but it is sure delicious. The recipe calls for New York strips, but ribeye or filet mignon will work as well.

Steak ingredients:

2 10- to 12-ounce New York strips

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1½-2 teaspoons black pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 sprigs fresh thyme

Cherry sauce ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter

1 shallot, minced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

2 cups fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted

½ cup dry red wine; Cabernet Sauvignon is great

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Prep:

Take steaks out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. You want them close to room temperature, so they cook evenly. Season both sides of meat liberally with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add oil to the pan. Once it is simmering and extremely hot, add steaks to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, developing a deep brown crust on both sides of the steak. Do not touch steaks until it is time to turn them over, so you don’t ruin the crusting process.

Reduce heat to medium-low once both sides are cooked. Add butter, garlic and thyme. Once butter is melted, tilt the pan so all the butter pools in one spot. Spoon hot butter over the steaks, constantly basting them for 1 minute. Check temperature of steaks with an instant-read thermometer. Once temperature reads 130 degrees, steaks will be perfectly medium rare as they will continue to cook while they rest. Cook steaks to 140 degrees for medium or 120 degrees for rare. Remove steaks from the pan and set on a cutting board tented with aluminum foil to rest while making the sauce.

Using the same pan for the sauce as you did the steaks, discard thyme sprigs, keeping the garlic and butter in the pan. Add butter and shallot and cover over medium heat until shallot begins to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add chopped thyme and cherries. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Once cherries soften and begin to release their juices, add wine, vinegar, honey and mustard. Stir to combine, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer the mixture over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. The wine will reduce, and the cherries will burst and be soft and juicy. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Slice or serve steaks whole with cherry sauce spooned over the top.